Edmund Duffy’s five-decade legal career, during which he rose to prominence as the former heard of the China practice at Skadden, officially ended 02/08/2018, when he was automatically disbarred after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.
A Suffolk County District Court Judge was suspended from the bench after he was arrested and charged with burglary. He was caught with women’s underwear that he allegedly stole from a private residence.
Evan Greebel, a former partner at Kaye Scholer and Katten Muchin Rosenman, was sent to prison for working with disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli to defraud investors.
Keila Ravelo was sentenced to five years for conspiring to defraud her former law firms and clients out of $7.8 Million, using bogus litigation vendors. Prosecutors said that the former Hunton & Williams and Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner used the money to fuel a lavish lifestyle.
Prominent M&A partner Frank Aquila deleted his Twitter account after tellling White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders she should “Rot in Hell You Bitch” for defending Sen. Lindsey Graham amid the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.
Manhattan attorney Aaron Schlossberg’s rant against employees speaking Spanish at a Mexican Restaurant provoked a firestorm on social media.
Another viral video captured a second New York City lawyer who directed racially charged comments at bystanders.
“Egragious and outragesou” conduct by ex-Mintz Levin associate Anthony Jacob Zappin during his pro se legal war with his former wife, also an attorney, led to his disbarment.
New York’s high court unanimously said that Civil Court Judge Terrence O’Connor’s “intemparate” and “inappropriate” behavior in the courtroom were bad enough, but his decision to not cooperate with an investigation into his actions also contributed to his removal from the bench.
Every day it seems, I read something about Judges in this Country, or someone contacts me about them, or I experience them first hand, or perhaps, one of the attorneys that I have worked with feels their wrath.
The judges hate pro se litigants. The judges hate foreclosure defense lawsuits. The judges hate almost everything and/or everyone, except their fellow judges, or people they knew while they were attorneys, or maybe their own families. It has come to the point, that I told someone the other day, we need to get rid of all govt., and all judges, and start anew.
I’m serious. Most people don’t encounter the crimes that the judges are committing. Or so I thought. I have read some things lately, where more and more people are noticing that unless you are a bank, an attorney on the judge’s good side, or a multi-billion dollar corporation, there is no justice for you in the US.
Read on, and see some of what I am talking about. I have added in parts of articles supporting what I am claiming. There will be links to the articles, so that you can see for yourself, where the information came from:
Judge William Kent’s preliminary ruling seemed like a first step toward compromise. Margaret and Stuart Besen, who agreed their marriage was beyond repair, would remain in their suburban Suffolk County house, living in separate rooms – and keeping away from each other – while sharing custody until a resolution could be reached.
But within weeks, the situation deteriorated. Stuart Besen, a politically connected attorney for the town of Huntington, had an anger problem, Margaret told authorities. The couple’s screaming matches left Margaret feeling intimidated and their children – a daughter, 11, and son, 7 – terrified, she said. So in August of that year she obtained an order of protection prohibiting Stuart from harassing her. Three weeks later, Stuart entered Margaret’s bedroom and hovered over her as she slept, she told police. They arrested him for violating the order, reporting that Stuart had stared down at Margaret with his arms folded on three consecutive nights. She got temporary possession of the family home.
In the years that followed, Besen’s hopes for an equitable settlement dwindled as she battled a series of harsh and hard-to-explain decisions against her. Though she could never prove anything, she suspected that the scales had tipped for reasons unrelated to the evidence in her case. If true, Besen faced what experts say is one of the most troubling threats to our nation’s system of justice: judges, who, through incompetence, bias or outright corruption, prevent the wronged from getting a fair hearing in our courts.
“The decorum and bias and the perfectly unethical behavior of the judges is really rampant,” said Amanda Lundergan, a defense attorney in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, who confronted a nest of judicial conflicts in her state’s rapid-fire foreclosure rulings – dubbed the “rocket-docket” – following the housing market collapse. “It’s judicial bullying.”
Judges in local, state and federal courts across the country routinely hide their connections to litigants and their lawyers. These links can be social – they may have been law school classmates or share common friends – political, financial or ideological. In some instances the two may have mutual investment interests. They might be in-laws. Occasionally they are literally in bed together. While it’s unavoidable that such relationships will occur, when they do create a perception of bias, a judge is duty-bound to at the very least disclose that information, and if it is creates an actual bias, allow a different judge to take over.
All too often, however, the conflicted jurist says nothing and proceeds to rule in favor of the connected party, while the loser goes off without realizing an undisclosed bias doomed her case.
Hundreds of judicial transgressions have been uncovered during the last decade, with results that cost the defeated litigants their home, business, custody, health or freedom.
But court critics say that one reason judicial violations are common is because they frequently go unpunished. When litigants ask a judge to back away because of a conflict, they risk being told no, then face possible retaliation, so many don’t bother. If a litigant or an attorney files a complaint with an oversight body, there’s only about a 10% chance that state court authorities will properly investigate the allegation, according to a Contently.org analysis of data from 12 states.
The analysis shows that a dozen of these commissions collectively dismissed out of hand 90% of the complaints filed during the last five years, tossing 33,613 of 37,216 grievances without conducting any substantive inquiry. When they did take a look – 3,693 times between 2010 and 2014 – investigators found wrongdoing almost half the time, issuing disciplinary actions in 1,751 cases, about 47%.
The actions taken ranged from a letter of warning to censure, a formal sanction that indicates a judge is guilty of misconduct but does not merit suspension or removal.
Actually removing a judge was a rarity. Just 19 jurists in 12 states were ordered off the bench for malfeasance, which is about three per decade for each state. And even that result is becoming less common, with only one removal in 2014 and three in 2013 among all 12 states.
The states examined – California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington, Georgia and South Carolina – were chosen because they comprise a representative sample from different populations and areas of the country and because they had matching data for the years 2010 through 2014.
Judicial discipline at the federal level is almost non-existent. A Contently.org examination of the most recent five years of complaint data shows that 5,228 grievances were lodged against federal jurists between 2010 and 2014, including 2,561 that specifically alleged bias or conflict of interest. But only three judges were disciplined during those years and each got the mildest rebuke on the books: censure or reprimand. None was suspended or removed.
Margaret won a court order of protection barring Stuart from contact with her children for a year. But when Kent issued his final decree less than six weeks later, he awarded Stuart full custody, while Margaret was allowed only supervised visits. And he ordered Margaret to pay back half the cost of her nursing degree and to sell her diamond engagement ring and split the proceeds with Stuart. The judge also reversed the support arrangements. While Stuart would pay $1,500 a month in maintenance to Margaret, she now owed Stuart $153.90 a week for the children, even though she was earning about $13,000 a year as a part-time aide in an assisted-living facility.
Margaret began to look into her husband’s dealings and discovered, through searching public records, that he and judge Kent had possible connections. In 2010, Stuart was appointed as the Suffolk County representative on a statewide commission for vetting local judicial candidates. That same year, an organization based at Stuart Besen’s Garden City law office, the Long Island Coalition for Responsible Government, donated $7,500 to candidate Richard Ambro, who got elected and became one of Kent’s fellow Supreme Court judges in Suffolk’s 10th district. In his role as Huntington’s town lawyer, Besen argued cases before these very judges. He’d entered a circle of judicial insiders.
“I’m in the middle of a large group of people who’ve got money and influence and who are all connected,” said Margaret Besen. “I’m not being afforded an opportunity to get a fair shake.”
Above: Margaret Besen stands in front of the former Besen family home, now unoccupied in Commack, Long Island. Photograph: Alan Chin
Margaret had no way of knowing whether the connections she uncovered played any role in how Kent ruled in her case. But her concern deepened when she made an additional discovery about her house. Kent had ordered the Besen home, the most valuable marital asset, to be sold and the proceeds divided, putting Margaret in line to receive possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then she found an online listing offering the property for sale – with the judge’s wife, Patricia Kent, as broker. The home, which was listed for $749,999 with Patricia Kent’s photo and contact information on Realty Connect USA, is currently more than $15,000 in arrears on its property taxes and no longer appears to be actively offered. Margaret was evicted from the house in 2013 and lives in a modest apartment a few miles away. She has yet to receive a penny for her interest in the property.
Scott L Cummings, a professor of legal ethics at UCLA law school, said the case raised “significant ethical red flags”, because of the judge’s wife’s alleged involvement in offering the Besen family home for sale. “Not knowing the details of how his spouse might have been assigned as broker, the idea that a judge might benefit financially from the sale of a property in dispute in a pending matter seems to raise a serious question of impartiality.”
Ronald Rotunda, a professor at Chapman University law school in Orange, California, said: “What judge Kent did here seems odd. The husband makes over a half million a year, she makes $13,000 a year, and the judge orders her to pay child support (which is tax free to him and not deductible for her).”
But a culture of judicial impunity extends far beyond Long Island’s county courts. Indeed, even the US supreme court has been tarnished on this issue.
Justice Steven Breyer owned $215,000 in health-care stocks when deciding on the legality of the Affordable Care Act in 2012. Justice Samuel Alito’s portfolio included $2,000 in stock in The Walt Disney Co. in 2008, the year the court heard Disney, FCC v. Fox Television Stations. And perhaps most famously, justice Antonin Scalia has participated in the Bush v. Gore case, even though his son Eugene’s law firm represented one of the parties. In another case, Scalia remained in the panel despite having gone on a duck hunting trip with former Vice-President Dick Cheney while he was being sued to reveal the details of secret meetings he held with oil company executives in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The online vitriol directed at unscrupulous judges, which began in the mid- 2000s, has built to a howling digital crescendo. Websites including The Robe Probe, The Judiciary Report and The Robing Room, which rate judges the way Yelp rates restaurants, are rife with railing as embittered, mostly anonymous plaintiffs rip into judicial decisions they feel were biased or corrupt.
In an appeal of a case in West Virginia court, A.T. Massey Coal Co. CEO Don Blankenship spent $3m to elect Brent Benjamin, who ultimately provided the swing vote that overturned a $50m judgment against his company. Benjamin rebuffed repeated demands that the newly elected justice recuse himself because of his obvious conflict.
The US Supreme Court ruled that Benjamin’s bias was so extreme that his failure to step aside violated Caperton’s right to due process under the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. The case, which spawned Grisham’s 2008 best-seller, “The Appeal,” underscored the kind of underhanded dealing that has stained the judiciary.
A further nudge for reform came last year when the Center for Public Integrity published a report on financial conflicts of interest. Among its findings: on 26 occasions in the preceding three years, federal appellate judges ruled on cases involving companies in which they owned stock or where they had a financial tie to an attorney appearing before them.
A further nudge for reform came last year when the Center for Public Integrity published a report on financial conflicts of interest. Among its findings: on 26 occasions in the preceding three years, federal appellate judges ruled on cases involving companies in which they owned stock or where they had a financial tie to an attorney appearing before them.
It also created a grading system to gauge how diligent each state was in collecting personal financial information from its judges, including stock ownership and outside sources of income, and how accessible that data was to the public. The center said that 42 states, plus the District of Columbia, failed its test. Six others earned a D grade, while two – California and Maryland – got Cs. California’s score, 77, the highest of any state, was seven points below the federal government’s grade of 84.
The report highlighted the type of conflict that can be most readily identified and that doing so requires full disclosure from the judges. Stock ownership, even if minimal, should automatically disqualify a judge from hearing a case, many experts believe. “If a judge owns a single share in a company involved in a case, he should recuse himself instantly,” says Rotunda, a leading law scholar.
It’s been more than two years since Margaret Besen has seen her children, who are now 12 and 16. There’s no money to pay the court supervisor, so they can’t visit. Nor does Besen have the funds to continue fighting. Kent retired shortly after making his decision.
“The hardest thing in my life is that I can’t be with my children and I can’t have an impact on my children’s upbringing,” Besen said over coffee at a Long Island diner. “A lot of people do not have any idea how the judicial system works or doesn’t work until you’re in it. We think we’re in a democratic society. We think we’re run by rules. But they are not being upheld by the court at all.”
In recent years, America’s corporations have created a private system for handling disputes that benefits them greatly while denying consumers their day in court.
Worse, according to a recent series in The Times, that system has become vast and more entrenched as companies increasingly require customers, employees, investors, patients and other consumers to agree in advance to arbitrate any disputes that arise in their dealings with a company, rather than sue in a court of law.
Such forced-arbitration clauses, found in the fine print of contracts, also typically bar aggrieved parties from pressing their claims as a group in a class action, often the only practical way for individuals to challenge corporations. In addition, corporations effectively control the arbitration process, including the selection of the arbitrator and the rules of evidence, a stacked deck if ever there was one.
As if that is not troubling enough, it is extremely difficult to avoid or get out of forced-arbitration clauses and class-action bans, particularly since they were upheld by two misguided Supreme Court decisions in 2011 and in 2013.
From 2010 to 2014, corporations prevailed in four out of five cases where they asked federal judges to dismiss class-action lawsuits and compel arbitration, according to The Times’s articles. People who were blocked from going to court as a group usually dropped their claims entirely, in part because class actions are often the only affordable way to file lawsuits. If successful, they can deter future corporate wrongdoing because even small payouts, multiplied over all similarly mistreated customers, can be very large.
Indeed, faced with arbitration, it appears that most people do not pursue remedies to their grievances at all. Verizon, with more than 125 million subscribers, faced 65 consumer arbitrations between 2010 and 2014, The Times’s report found. Sprint, with more than 57 million subscribers, faced six. Time Warner Cable, with 15 million subscribers, faced seven.
Even more disturbing, the shift away from the civil justice system has gone beyond disputes about money. Nursing homes, obstetrics practices and private schools increasingly use forced-arbitration clauses to shield themselves from being taken to court over alleged discrimination, elder abuse, fraud, hate crimes, medical malpractice and wrongful death.
For the most part, Congress has looked the other way. Federal regulators, however, are starting to fight back. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to propose a rule soon to forbid arbitration clauses that ban class actions in cases involving financial services and products. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is expected to issue updated nursing home regulations next year, is considering a ban on forced arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts.
Reversing the broader trend of forced arbitration, however, will require public outcry loud and long enough to stir the White House and Congress to action. Many people interviewed in The Times’s series did not realize that their right to sue had been lost until they needed it. A common refrain was the disbelief that this could happen in America. But it is happening, and it needs to stop.
Artificial Intelligence – The Judge, Jury, Lawyer, Journalist, and Executioner
By Nate – 10/24/2016
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If you go to their site, you can view a video on it. I could not copy the video section across.
In the days ahead imagine a world in which your crimes were judged not by your fellow peers, but rather by an artificial intelligence. A team of scientists in the UK have developed an AI which can successfully predict the verdicts of Human Rights cases with an accuracy of 79 percent.
The ‘computer judge’ was developed by The University College London and the University of Sheffield. The scientists developed an algorithm which can not only weigh up evidence but can also make moral considerations.
Are you ready for the Terminator Judge?
Artificial Intelligence, no matter how smart, has no morals. What all began in the 1960’s as a prediction that computers could one day be able to predict the outcomes of judicial decisions, has just come about.
AI is increasingly being used in fields such as journalism, law, and accountancy.
However, according to the team of scientists;
“We don’t see AI replacing judges or lawyers, but we think they’d find it useful for rapidly identifying patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes,” said Dr Nikolaos Aletras, who led the study at UCL Computer Science.
“It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Interestingly enough, this is how it starts. First, the AI weighs in, then the AI becomes a member of the Judicial process, and finally the AI replaces the AI process.
Realistically this is step one.
In the not-so-distant future, artificial intelligence will replace lawyers, journalists, judges, policemen, law and order, and so many more common jobs. The most critical positions that will determine mankind’s fate are that of the legal sector, and as of this report – it begins.
Scientists claim that the Artificial Intelligence was taught morals. However, morals cannot be found in brain tissue but rather in the spirit. The conviction that comes from wrongdoing is not found in mankind, but it is located in the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit, lest we forget the days and stories of the Israelites departure from Egypt.
Artificial Intelligence is coming about through the rise in evolutionist ideology, and the belief that man is just another animal. In the not so distant future; a central intelligence, no not the CIA, but rather the Central Artificial Intelligence will be the judge jury and executioner. The artificial intelligence will make assumptions and calculations based on thought crimes, and based on tendencies.
By the year 2023, according to the World Economic Forum, the first ever implantable mobile device will be sold to consumers. At this point an individual will be able to control a device by thought, and at this moment an individual’s thought will ping a server rather than an action inputted into a smartphone. The implantable mobile device can and will give rise to the analyzation of an individual’s thoughts.
To develop the algorithm, the team allowed the algorithm to scan the published judgments from 584 cases relating to torture and degrading treatment, fair trials and privacy. The computer learned that certain phrases, facts, or circumstances occurred more frequently when there was a violation of the human rights act. After analyzing hundreds of cases, the computer was able to predict a verdict with 79 percent accuracy.
Creating an algorithm which judges upon particular facts, phrases and circumstances will give rise to the Artificial Judge, Jury, and Executioner. Thus, creating an artificial judge which bases its decision upon thoughts rather than actual crimes.
“Previous studies have predicted outcomes based on the nature of the crime, or the policy position of each judge, so this is the first time judgments have been predicted using analysis of text prepared by the court,” said co-author, Dr. Vasileios Lampos, UCL Computer Science.
“We expect this sort of tool would improve efficiencies of high level, in demand courts, but to become a reality, we need to test it against more articles and the case data submitted to the tribunal.
“Ideally, we’d test and refine our algorithm using the applications made to the court rather than the published judgments, but without access to that data, we rely on the court-published summaries of these submissions.
To conclude, the allowance of such a judge in real-time, in an actual court would require the doing away of the entirety, and legitimacy of the legal system. Thus giving rise to the beast system which could deem Christianity as dangerous, certain phrases and thoughts as conviction, and certain circumstances as grounds for execution.
(NaturalNews) Three days ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg went on a discombobulated verbal rampage against Donald Trump, calling him a “faker” and claiming that if he were elected president, “then everything is up for grabs.”
She then went on to declare that everybody should “move to New Zealand” where, apparently, they can all wear their liberal tin foil hats together while America finally builds a wall to keep them all out.
But what almost nobody seems to remember about all this is that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was brain damaged by chemotherapy in 2009. As this NY Daily News story explains, she underwent chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer that year.
Chemotherapy is a systemic poison that damages the brains, kidneys and hearts of those who undergo the procedure. As oncologists well know, chemotherapy causes “chemo brain” — a form of chemically induced brain damage that severely impairs cognitive ability by damaging brain cells. It’s far worse than the brain damage you’d suffer from sniffing glue or consuming meth, by the way.
Chemo brain is a medically recognized side effect of chemotherapy, and even the Mayo Clinic describes chemo brain side effects as including:
Difficulty finding the right word
Feeling of mental fogginess
Short-term memory problems
Taking longer than usual to complete routine tasks
Trouble with verbal memory, such as remembering a conversation
Does this sound exactly like Ruth Bader Ginsburg? You bet it does!
America’s highest court populated by a brain-damaged liberal
All this explains why Ginsberg’s Supreme Court decisions have been so cognitively impaired for the last seven years. It’s also why she recently committed a huge error by uttering all those insanely stupid words against Donald Trump, earning her a retort from Trump who correctly says her “mind is shot.”
The Trumpster is now calling for Ginsberg to resign in shame, and even the New York Times now agrees that Trump is right: Ginsberg has totally lost her mind. Why hasn’t she resigned yet? Because she’s too cognitively impaired to realize she needs to resign.
It’s frightening to think that the very future of America hinges in part on the decisions of a brain-damaged U.S. Supreme Court Justice who has lost the ability to think or speak with clarity. Yet in another way, it’s also not so surprising: She’s the perfect poster girl for the total insanity that now exists in Washington D.C. … a dangerous departure from sanity that’s now endemic across the entire federal government. In fact, if you think about it, why shouldn’t an insanely stupid, incompetent and corrupt federal government be incessantly granted unconstitutional powers by a brain-damaged Supreme Court justice who can’t control her own mouth?
This is all the more reason to elect Donald Trump, by the way. If we are to have any real hope of saving America, we have to replace all the insane, incompetent and brain damaged government officials with intelligent, capable, patriotic Americans who can get things done while protecting individual liberty. Read more at Trump.news.
‘Iqbal’ Brings Seven Years of Bad Luck for Plaintiffs
OPINION: The heightened pleading standard established in 2009 is based on faulty propositions.
Arthur H. Bryant, The National Law Journal
May 23, 2016
The seventh anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal was May 18. It’s a date that should live in infamy.
A 5-4 decision, Iqbal ignored reality — and the fact that truth is stranger than fiction. It flouted the process for amending the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. And it particularly limited access to justice for civil rights, employment discrimination and individual plaintiffs.
Seventy years before Iqbal, in 1938, the Federal Rules were adopted to get rid of “fact” pleading, which the rule-makers thought “led to wasteful disputes about distinctions that … were arbitrary or metaphysical, too often cutting off adjudication on the merits.” Under the new Rule 8, to start a lawsuit, the plaintiff had to file a complaint with “a short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief.”
As the court later explained in Conley v. Gibson, the complaint did not have to “set out the facts in detail.” It just had to give the defendant “fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” A motion to dismiss would only be granted if “it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” Then, the plaintiff could take discovery, to find out what the defendant and other relevant people knew and when they knew it. After that, the court would determine whether there was sufficient proof to require a trial.
In Iqbal, the court rejected a complaint alleging that high-level U.S. officials had a Pakistani Muslim and thousands of other Arab men illegally arrested and detained after the 9/11 attacks because of “their race, religion, and national origin … and not because of any evidence” of their “involvement in supporting terrorist activity.”
To do so, the court changed the rules. It held that, from now on, to “survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Dismissal no longer turned on whether the complaint provided “fair notice” to the defendant; it turned on whether the claim was “plausible on its face.” How were judges to determine that? By drawing on their “judicial experience and common sense.”
Motions to dismiss were immediately filed throughout the federal courts. Judges’ and lawyers’ workloads increased enormously. The lower courts and lawyers are still struggling to figure out how the new system is supposed to work — and, if they can, make it fair.
For three reasons, however, it’s become increasingly clear that Iqbal was a mistake.
First, whatever one thinks about the allegations in the case, the Iqbal pleading standard is based on a proposition — allegations probably aren’t true if they’re not plausible on their face — that is false. Reality keeps teaching us that. None of us, including federal judges using their “judicial experience and common sense,” would have believed that any of the following was plausible a few years ago:
• Donald Trump would be the presumptive Republican Party nominee for president of the United States of America.
• A prominent candidate for president would propose banning all Muslims from entering America or call women “fat pigs,” “dogs” and “disgusting animals.”
• Same-sex marriage would be legal nationwide.
• The U.S. government would obtain and be able to search virtually all Americans’ phone records.
• Olympic champion Bruce Jenner would become a woman, Caitlyn Jenner.
• Federal, state and local governments would battle over what kind of bathroom people such as Caitlyn Jenner could use.
Similar implausible things happen every day.
Second, Iqbal effectively rewrote the Federal Rules without following the legally established rules for amending them. Under the Rules Enabling Act, before rules are changed, detailed procedures must be followed involving the Advisory Committees to the U.S. Judicial Conference’s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure; the Standing Committee itself; notice to and comment from lawyers, judges and the public; the U.S. Judicial Conference; the Supreme Court; and Congress — so the changes are fully considered and fair.
In 2002, the court unanimously rejected a company’s plea for a heightened pleading standard in employment discrimination cases, saying that result “must be obtained by the process of amending the Federal Rules, and not judicial interpretation.” It should have said that in Iqbal, too.
Third, Iqbal is especially harmful to civil rights, employment discrimination and individual plaintiffs. Last year, the most comprehensive study of Iqbal’s effects, “Measuring the Impact of Plausibility Pleading,” was published in the Virginia Law Review. It found that Iqbal increased dismissals of most cases by 10 percent, but employment discrimination and civil rights cases much more (16 percent and 19 percent, respectively). Cases filed by individuals were also dismissed far more often (18 percent), but not cases filed by corporations.
In theory, this could mean that only bad cases were dismissed more promptly. But, if that were true, a higher percentage of the cases remaining in court would succeed. They didn’t. These plaintiffs were just disproportionately denied a chance to prove their claims.
The high court should reverse the Iqbal decision. Whether cases proceed should turn on the facts and the law, not on whether judges think the allegations are plausible.
Arthur H. Bryant is the chairman of Public Justice, a national public interest law firm dedicated to advancing and preserving access to justice. His practice focuses on consumers’ rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, environmental protection, and corporate and government accountability.
If you don’t do anything else productive this week, do me one small favor, go here:
watch this youtube video, and learn the truth. I have been trying to tell people for the last 5 years, and cannot get enough people to listen, or believe the truth.
The US govt., the Japanese govt., are not going to tell you the truth. Every time I see someone letting their kids play in the rain, I want to walk up and slap them for their stupidity, then have to remember that no one has told them the truth. The news media, the govt, they all know the truth. Let’s just go about our daily lives, and ignore the situation.
Cancer has already been running rampant, the statistics show that it will take 15-17 years from March 11, 2011 to hit most people in the US. So much time will have passed since the triple – 100% meltdowns, that most peopel will not put 2 + 2 together to make 4. 2 + 2 by then, will be equal to 5.
The Scary TRUTH About Fukushima (Fukushima Exposed Full Documentary: Deception/End Times 2015)
So along with the chemtrails dumbing people down, helping them stay asleep, together with the deadly fluoride in the water, keep IQs that of a snail, and vaccines causing autism, all the more to black and hispanic males, most peopel in the US will contract cancer and never put it all together. Their children born with autism, their reproduction possibilities deteriorated, and never know what hit them.
Wake up you bunch of idiots, and smell the cesium, the strotium, tritium, and all the other radiations taking hold of your bodies. You cannot see radiation, you cannot smell it, you cannot feel it. It bioaccumulates in your bodies, and is a slow and horrible death.
How many people continued eating seafood? Wow! How many continued eating vegetables grown in California? How many people continued living on the California Coast? How many people go surfing in the Pacific? It only took 3-6 days from the March 11, 2011 triple melt down to reach the California coast.
Has anyone bothered to look at some of the pix of dead whales that have washed up on California beaches? How can the govt not tell these people living along the Pacific Ocean that their kids have been conaminated to the point that their grandchildren will not look anything like a human? The extent of our exposure is sickening, and no one cares, they won’t even listen.
No wonder they want to start confiscating our guns now. They know that when people learn the truth, some of the people are going to rebel. I watched a video recently that showed Hillary Clinton had the March 11, 2011 emails to her telling her to stay inside for the next three days. She knew all about what had happened and the extent of contamination. Japan passe secrecy laws to keep the people from talking about it. Media personnel that spoke of it, disappeared.
The births of the next couple of generations will be heartbreaking, horrors fit for horror movies. God Help Us All!
The judicial system doesn’t seem to have a problem with the FBI acting as admins for child porn sites while conducting investigations. After all, judges have seen worse. They’ve OK’ed the FBI’s hiring of a “heroin-addicted prostitute” to seduce an investigation target into selling drugs to undercover agents. Judges have, for the most part, allowed the ATF to bust people for robbing fake drug houses containing zero drugs — even when the actual robbery has never taken place. Judges have also found nothing wrong with law enforcement creating its own “pedophilic organization,” recruiting members and encouraging them to create child pornography.
So, when the FBI ran a child porn site for two weeks last year, its position as a child porn middleman was never considered to be a problem. The “network investigative technique” (NIT) it used to obtain identifying information about anonymous site visitors and their computer hardware, however, has resulted in a few problems for the agency.
While the FBI has been able to fend off one defendant’s attempt to suppress evidence out in Washington, it has just seen its evidence disappear in another case related to its NIT and the “PlayPen” child porn site it seized (and ran) last year.
What troubles the court isn’t the FBI acting as a child porn conduit in exchange for unmasking Tor users. What bothers the court is the reach of its NIT, which extends far outside the jurisdiction of the magistrate judge who granted the FBI’s search warrants. This decision benefits defendant Alex Levin of Massachusetts directly. But it could also pay off for Jay Michaud in Washington.
The warrants were issued in Virginia, which is where the seized server resided during the FBI’s spyware-based investigation. Levin, like Michaud, does not reside in the district where the warrant was issued (Virginia – Eastern District) and where the search was supposed to be undertaken. As Judge William Young explains, the FBI’s failure to restrict itself to the location where the NIT warrants were issued makes them worthless pieces of paper outside of that district. (via Chris Soghoian)
The government argues for a liberal construction of Rule 41(b) that would authorize the type of search that occurred here pursuant to the NIT Warrant. See Gov’t’s Resp. 18-20. Specifically, it argues that subsections (1), (2), and (4) of Rule 41(b) are each sufficient to support the magistrate judge’s issuance of the NIT Warrant. Id. This Court is unpersuaded by the government’s arguments. Because the NIT Warrant purported to authorize a search of property located outside the Eastern District of Virginia, and because none of the exceptions to the general territorial limitation of Rule 41(b)(1) applies, the Court holds that the magistrate judge lacked authority under Rule 41(b) to issue the NIT Warrant.
The government deployed some spectacular theories in its effort to salvage these warrants, but the court is having none of it.
The government advances two distinct lines of argument as to why Rule 41(b)(1) authorizes the NIT Warrant. One is that all of the property that was searched pursuant to the NIT Warrant was actually located within the Eastern District of Virginia, where the magistrate judge sat: since Levin — as a user of Website A — “retrieved the NIT from a server in the Eastern District of Virginia, and the NIT sent [Levin’s] network information back to a server in that district,” the government argues the search it conducted pursuant to the NIT Warrant properly can be understood as occurring within the Eastern District of Virginia. Gov’t’s Resp. 20. This is nothing but a strained, after-the-fact rationalization.
As the government attempts to portray it, the search was wholly contained in Virginia because the NIT was distributed by the seized server in the FBI’s control. But, as the judge notes, the searchitself — via the NIT — did not occur in Virginia. The NIT may have originated there, but without grabbing info and data from Levin’s computer in Massachusetts, the FBI would have nothing to use against the defendant.
That the Website A server is located in the Eastern District of Virginia is, for purposes of Rule 41(b)(1), immaterial, since it is not the server itself from which the relevant information was sought.
And, according to Judge Young, that’s exactly what the FBI has now: nothing.
The Court concludes that the violation at issue here is distinct from the technical Rule 41 violations that have been deemed insufficient to warrant suppression in past cases, and, in any event, Levin was prejudiced by the violation. Moreover, the Court holds that the good-faith exception is inapplicable because the warrant at issue here was void ab initio.
The judge has more to say about the FBI’s last ditch attempt to have the “good faith exception” salvage its invalid searches.
Even were the Court to hold that the good-faith exception could apply to circumstances involving a search pursuant to a warrant issued without jurisdiction, it would decline to rule such exception applicable here. For one, it was not objectively reasonable for law enforcement — particularly “a veteran FBI agent with 19 years of federal law enforcement experience[,]” Gov’t’s Resp. 7-8 — to believe that the NIT Warrant was properly issued considering the plain mandate of Rule 41(b).
The court doesn’t have a problem with NITs or the FBI’s decision to spend two weeks operating a seized child porn server. But it does have a problem with the government getting warrants signed in one jurisdiction and using them everywhere but.
The decision here could call into question other such warrants used extraterritorially, like the DEA’s dozens of wiretap warrants obtained in California but used to eavesdrop on targets located on the other side of the country. And it may help Jay Michaud in his case, seeing as he resides a few thousand miles away from where the search was supposedly performed.
At ABA Meeting, Bar Groups See Threat from Nonlawyers
Susan Beck, The Am Law Daily
February 4, 2016
(Stanford Law School Professor Deborah Rhode criticized the opposition to Resolution 105, which some fear could lead to more non-lawyers providing legal services.
Photo: Jason Doiy/The Recorder)
A modest proposal that hints at opening the door to nonlawyers providing simple legal services faces a tough fight at the American Bar Association’s midyear meetings, which are currently underway in San Diego.
The ABA’s Litigation Section, as well as the bar associations of Illinois, Nevada, New York, New Jersey and Texas, are all on record opposing Resolution 105, which was submitted by the Commission on the Future of Legal Services and five other ABA divisions. The commission was formed in August 2014 by then-incoming ABA president William Hubbard, who has been vocal about the need to improve access to justice. Under the leadership of former Northrop Grumman Corporation lawyer Judy Perry Martinez, the commission has explored new ways to improve the delivery of civil legal services to the public, especially to those who can’t afford a lawyer or are confused by the legal system.
While the 30-member commission has considered many possible solutions—from technological innovations to allowing nonlawyers to provide limited legal services—Resolution 105 doesn’t propose any specific changes to the status quo. Instead, it asks the ABA to adopt “Model Regulatory Objectives for the Provision of Legal Services” that are guided by such benign principles as protection of the public and meaningful access to justice. It also urges each state’s highest court to be guided by these objectives if it is considering new rules to allow activity by “nontraditional legal service providers.”
While the resolution doesn’t advocate for such changes, the mere mention of “nontraditional legal service providers” raises hackles for some in the ABA. The Texas state bar board, for example, has asked Texas delegates to withhold their support for Resolution 105. State bar president-elect Frank Stevenson II of Locke Lord said the board opposes the proposal because it seems to presume there’s a place for nonlawyers to provide legal services. He added that Texas’ chief justice has already set up a commission to study how lawyers can reach more of the public, and his group wants to wait for that group to finish its work.
“Our position shouldn’t be interpreted as rigidly opposed to innovation in the provision of legal services,” Stevenson said. But he added, “We feel lawyers are not fungible with nonlawyers.”
The New Jersey State Bar Association’s board of trustees voted unanimously to oppose the resolution, also because it envisions new categories of legal service providers. The ABA’s Litigation Section voted 17-8 against it.
Philadelphia lawyer Lawrence Fox of Drinker Biddle & Reath, who has long crusaded against allowing nonlawyers to provide legal services, sent a Jan. 29 email to all delegates with the subject line “Save Our Profession.” He implored them to reject Resolution 105: “If we are going to show leadership, it ought to be in opposing the unauthorized practice of law, wherever it rears its ugly head,” he wrote.
The resolution does have some organized support, including from the South Carolina Bar Association, the ABA’s Business Law Section, the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Washington State Bar Association. (In Washington state, licensed nonlawyers already provide some legal services.)
ABA President Paulette Brown declined to comment on the resolution or the work of the commission.
The commission will hold a roundtable discussion in San Diego on Saturday and will meet again on Sunday. The ABA’s House of Delegates will consider the resolution on Monday.
A simple majority vote is needed to adopt a resolution. The ABA has 560 delegates, but it’s not clear how many will be present Monday.
Over the past year and a half, the Commission on the Future of Legal Services has sought new ideas to improve the public’s access to legal solutions. In May of last year it held a National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services at Stanford Law School that drew 200 participants, including 12 state court chief justices, the CEO of LegalZoom, a Microsoft Corp. in-house lawyer and numerous academics.
The following month, in a podcast on the Legal Talk Network, commission chairman Martinez sounded optimistic that the profession might change. “There’s room in this space to think differently about how we provide legal services,” she said. “This has the potential for sea change.”
Some of the profession’s rules, she said, serve as barriers that don’t protect the public. “We’re making sure that lawyers understand what services aren’t needed to be delivered by a lawyer and can in fact be delivered by somebody else.”
Martinez also noted that some lawyers might have trouble adjusting to a new model: “[There] will be some pain for those not alert and ready for change.”
Martinez could not be reached for comment.
The United Kingdom has already allowed some of the changes that are being fought over in the United States. In 2007 it passed the Legal Services Act, which permits so-called alternative business structures in the practice of law. The U.K. law breaks down many of the barriers that prevented nonlawyers from providing legal services or supplying capital to legal service providers.
Stanford Law School professor Deborah Rhode, who co-chaired last year’s summit and who directs the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University, called the May gathering an “extraordinary show of support for innovation” by ABA leadership. Four past, current and future ABA presidents attended, she noted.
“The major challenge for the ABA is how to get the rank and file behind some of these innovative initiatives,” she said. “A lot of lawyers feel very threatened.”
Rhode criticized the organized opposition against Resolution 105. “It’s such a mindless reflexive response,” she said. “This [change] is coming whether the bar likes it or not. Sticking their heads in the sand and trying to block even such an unobjectionable compromise position [in Resolution 105] seems a step in the wrong direction.”
She added, “This is why I titled my book ‘The Trouble with Lawyers,’” referring to her 2015 book critiquing the profession.
“I don’t think it’s fair to say that everyone who has concerns is sticking their heads in the sand,” said Locke Lord’s Stevenson, the Texas bar president. “A lot of criticism has been very nuanced and raises some issues that need to be addressed.”
BOSTON – A group of Western Massachusetts banks argued before the state’s highest court on Thursday that the city of Springfield’s anti-foreclosure ordinances should be overturned.
The banks say the local ordinances contradict state laws, and a bond levied on lenders constitutes an illegal tax. “It’s not that banks are opposed to mortgage laws and reform, but to how it’s being done,” said Craig Kaylor, general counsel for Hampden Bank, one of the banks that brought the lawsuit. “These are for the state to decide, not city by city.”
But the city disagrees and says the laws are necessary to avoid blight and protect neighborhoods that have high rates of foreclosure.
“This is the city’s response to the foreclosure crisis,” said Springfield Assistant City Solicitor Thomas Moore, who argued the case before the Supreme Judicial Court. “It’s a response from the city council and mayor based on what they see every day in the city. They’ve taken the strongest stance to protect homeowners and the city itself.”
The city of Springfield passed two anti-foreclosure ordinances in 2011 as the city was being hit hard by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. One ordinance requires a bank that forecloses on a home to pay for a $10,000 bond, which can be used by the city to maintain the foreclosed properties, if the bank fails to do so.
The other ordinance requires the establishment of a mandatory mediation program to help homeowners facing foreclosure. The bank would be responsible for paying most of the cost of the mediation.
Springfield is among the top cities in the state in the number of distressed properties it has. The city says high rates of foreclosures lead to health and education problems for children in families that lose their homes, and high rates of blighted or vacant properties lead to crime and violence in those neighborhoods.
Six western Massachusetts banks, with Easthampton Savings Bank as the lead plaintiff, challenged the ordinances. A U.S. District court judge upheld the ordinances. However, on appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a stay preventing Springfield from enforcing them. The federal court then asked the Supreme Judicial Court, the state’s highest court, to answer two questions related to state law before the federal court makes its ruling. The case is Easthampton Savings Bank and others vs. City of Springfield.
The SJC must decide whether the local foreclosure ordinances are preempted by existing state foreclosure laws. The court must also decide whether the $10,000 bond is a legal fee or an illegal tax. Cities and towns cannot create taxes without legislative approval.
The banks also argue that the ordinances violate the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution by impairing the contract between the homeowner and the mortgage-holder, a question that remains before the federal court.
During Thursday’s arguments, Tani Sapirstein, an attorney representing the banks, argued that the bond is a tax because banks do not get any particular benefit from paying it – which is the criteria for calling something a fee. The way the bond works is when a foreclosed property is sold, if the city did not have to use the bond money to maintain it, $9,500 would be returned to the bank and $500 is kept by the city as an administrative fee, used to maintain blighted properties and implement the foreclosure laws.
Chief Justice Ralph Gants questioned Sapirstein on whether the bank does not actually receive benefits. “You have an interest in preserving the value of your property,” Gants said. “If there are foreclosed properties going to hell all around your property, it diminishes the value of your property and diminishes the value of what you receive on the foreclosure. Why is this concern about avoiding blight not something that would benefit the bank as well as the city?”
Sapirstein replied that eliminating blight would benefit the bank “as well as the city and other property owners in the neighborhood.” “How is that a particularized benefit?” she said.
Moore argued that the bond is a fee, which the city needs to hire code inspectors and create a database of who controls foreclosed properties.
But Justice Geraldine Hines said if she pays for a copy of her birth certificate, she gets a document in return for the fee. “Here I don’t see that,” she said. “The property owners, the mortgagees, don’t have something tangible.”
Moore said the banks get a “well-regulated industry” and preservation of their property values. In addition, when a bank registers ownership in the database, the city knows who is responsible and problems can be resolved more easily.
Sapirstein also argued that local law cannot require more than state law in an area that is regulated by the state or the result would be “a patchwork of ordinances.”
Gants indicated that the court may move to narrow the ordinances – for example, applying them only to a bank that has taken possession of a house, not a bank that is in the process of foreclosure when the homeowner is still living there. Gants said the ordinance as written could fine a bank for not maintaining a property where the homeowner still lives. As a homeowner, Gants said, “I’d say I’m still living here. This is my home. How can they be punished for not invading what’s still my home just because they happen to be foreclosing on it?” Gants said.
Moore acknowledged that the ordinance may be overbroad and said the city does not anticipate pursuing a violation in a case like that. Moore said the lenders’ lawsuit is premature because there is no information yet about how the city will enforce the laws. “We have the lenders essentially saying the sky will be falling, we are worried about x, y, z happening. None of that has happened and none of that may happen,” Moore said.
Moore said the city is still writing the regulations for the ordinances and if they are upheld, “The city is ready to go forward with implementation within a period of weeks.”
Similar foreclosure ordinances were established in Lynn and Worcester, and local banks challenged those as well. That lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court in Worcester. The case involving Lynn and Worcester could be affected by the SJC’s ruling in the Springfield case.
Several activists supporting homeowners came in from Lynn and Springfield to hear the arguments. Candejah Pink, a Springfield homeowner and community organizer battled foreclosure for four years before reaching an agreement to keep her home. She helped write the Springfield ordinances. Pink said the bond is there to ensure that homes are maintained, which keeps crime and violence down. The mediation program, she said, is important to help homeowners come to an agreement with lenders. “We’re not asking to live in our homes for free. We’re asking for some mediation,” she said.
Ya know, I used to think that Foreclosure Hell was the worst thing we in this Country had to face. Wow, Was I Wrong!
I didn’t realize that just like in Japan, they will cook us to death with radiation, and not even bother to tell us. I have condemned the Japanese for nuking the world and not telling us the truth about it, but fuck me, this country is doing the same thing.
While most people go about their daily business, they never think about the fact, that a pleasure of getting rained on is killing them. We are the walking dead, and being asleep to the fact is just fucking us up more.
I would apologize for my slang, no, crude language, but something needs to wake these sleeping zombies up!
So, they are not only going to take every house they can get their grimy paws on, but they are going to continue the slow kill of humankind from the planet.
It is not the kids growing up now that will suffer so much, it is like the butterfly test in Fukushima. It is the children’s children that will be riddled with deformities.
No matter what they try to tell us, we cannot be stupid, and believe that radiation is ok. The thought of believing that, well, it is, stupid. The sheeple that make up this country now, is amazing. If the government says the radiation is not hurting us, we’ll just believe them. Because the government says so? Yall need to get out from under the rock, and out of the sun, cause damn! You been drinking too much water with fluoride in it, for too long, and it has made you dumb! I take that back, it has made you dumber than dirt!
For years, they have been doing things with the weather, with our food, with our prescriptions, our health! They have taken healthy human beings and turned them into out of shape, fat slugs that have lives that are meant for cattle. Chemtrails is no lie either. What about HARP? I guess that you also believe that 911 was not an inside job.
No, I am not a conspiracy theorist, I believe in taking what is put before me, studying it, seeing it for what it is, listening to scientists, listening to experts, and deducing my own opinion. You see, we woke up. We quit drinking the tap water. We quit watching the regular news. The news media is brainwashing you sheeple, which is not hard for them to do.
Terrorists are here, they are going to get you, so we have to militarize the Police forces. These false flag shootings, are to outrage you sheeple, so that you will agree that guns are bad, and they can confiscate our guns. We are told that our rights have to be taken, so that we can be protected from the terrorists, etc.,
If you are so blind you cannot see your nose on your face, you will not notice that Fannie Mae, and the banks are throwing our elderly out on the street. Right now, in Goodyear, Arizona, an 83 year old woman and her 86 year old husband are being thrown out of their home. No one cares. In Colorado Springs, CO, an 82 year old woman is being thrown out of her home. No one cares.
What the hell is wrong with you sheeple? It’s not you, so it is Ok? The Bank With the Most Homes in the End Wins, Get Used to It!!!
Those who fail to remember the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it. That is a paraphrase of an oft quoted statement. We are seeing it now. But the subtext is usually ignored which of course means we are condemned to repeat the cycles in which people rise to positions of power and use their platforms to achieve long- sought but never achieved world domination. Before now, we dealt with Hitler, Napoleon, and Roman Emperors to name just a few of the dozens of men that convinced their followers they were somehow superior to all other people, that mass extinction was acceptable, slavery was acceptable and that the symbols of their power should be lavishly exhibited in every home, business and government organization.
The lessons learned by each world dominator were learned by the next one — except the part about their ultimate failure. They controlled the new society with new rules, new laws, and new perceptions that built upon primitive notions held by most people of “them and us”. People were not only afraid to think in ways other than the new dogma, they adapted to it and accepted their fate. This is what Thomas Jefferson was talking about in the Declaration of Independence — that is in their desire to go on with their lives, people will endure many insults and suffer grievous injury to those lives before they rise up to change it.
The lesson learned in World War II by future world dominators was that putting one face on their strategy — a charismatic leader — eventually gives people someone to focus upon, and to eventually hate enough to kill. What we are seeing today is the results of that lesson. The economic crisis has altered our society. Our government is controlled by a group of almost nameless and almost faceless individuals who give the appearance of diversity. They are hiding their monolithic desire for world domination.
Like the frightful ancestors of this cycle, their ruthlessness grows with their power. Today they are enjoying that part of the cycle where they have cornered the market on raw power and have learned that military power alone is not sufficient to maintain their domination. They remain faceless dictators who manipulate the perceptions of the general population, the society as a whole, the business sector, and most importantly those who have their hands on the levers of power.
The result is that they have completely distorted capitalism into something close to fascism, with no one person to hate or admire. Their methods use our laws against the common good and their strategies focus on undermining the ability of anyone to challenge them. Today the handful of banks who control the U.S. economy and world commerce is providing a platform for domination of real estate without force of arms and natural resources without the need for military options (except as a diversion from their true purpose). These bankers are at the halfway point of complete world domination — and they have most people convinced that it is only market forces and the Law that is at work.
The truth is that market forces are not free, they are controlled by these bankers and we are all complicit in allowing it. The truth is that the law is not being applied and the bankers know it so they have devised a strategy of shell games that when presented to any challenger sends them down numerous rabbit holes in search of evidence of malfeasance. It is strategy of distraction so nobody looks at the reality of our existence.
One of those strategies that one Judge in Leon County suggested should be challenged and the subject of a seminar is the shell game of (1) changing lawyers, (2) changing servicers and (3) changing claimants in both judicial and non judicial foreclosure. They succeed to providing a confusing array of moving parts in a literal shell game where all the parts are exchanged for other parts without explanation. This usually starts with a motion for substitution of the Plaintiff in judicial cases or the Defendant in non-judicial cases. The result is not only unjust. It produces the forced sale of property to satisfy parties who are complete strangers to the original loan transaction — thus completing the circle of fraud successfully employed against the lenders and the borrowers. And the social perception is skewed such that neither the lenders nor the borrowers see their common plight.
But there is also a strategic purpose in “substituting” servicers, Plaintiffs, Trustees, etc. First. It presents a challenge to the court as yet another layer to an intentionally incomprehensible and confusing array of entities. The allegations against the old party are “simply” ascribed to the new party. The allegations by the old party are simply ascribed to the new party without explanation as to what transaction occurred in which a new “holder” was created or authorized to enforce a debt based upon a worthless note documenting a transaction that never existed.
Beyond that we have several cases in which I am lead counsel or an expert witness in which the “insertion” of the new claimant representing the banks makes enforcement of discovery problematic. The previous party had to answer discovery within 30 days. Judges are coming into the majority now where they are enforcing at least part of the discovery sought by the homeowner. The new party ignores the discovery because it isn’t addressed to them. The rocket docket causes the motion to compel to be heard too close to the time of retrial to get any real relief. Thus they avoid disclosures that would completely undermine the Bank’s claim.
The time for the next part of the cycle is already upon us. It is a daunting task. The entire maelstrom of illegal and wrongful collection of debt and Foreclosures has been directed by, controlled by nameless, faceless persons who are controlled through multiple layers of untouchables, much like the mafia.
Sue the investment banks and you pierce the multiple veils behind which they are hiding. For every $200,000 residential loan they have generally around $1,000,000 in potential liability to those who paid for the loan more than once, those who paid for the alleged loss more than once, and those who purchased mortgage bonds that were neither owned by the banks that sold them nor were those bonds worth anything. They were issued by trusts who were never funded, left naked without assets, money or income. And so an attack on the central players — the broker dealers holding themselves out as investment banks and commercial banks combined — will not only produce results for homeowners fighting these illegal and wrongful Foreclosures, but just as importantly reveal the soft underbelly of huge beast — the fact that about 1/3 of the their balance sheet is composed of these worthless bonds.
That means most of the the largest banks are already insolvent, the government knows it, but is complicit in this fraud upon the American investor under the dogma engendered by Too Big To Fail.
The interesting thing about all this is that most people understand how wrong this is while their leaders in state and federal governments look the other way. Those politicians who run against the banks will win their races soundly defeating even the most entrenched incumbents, who are owned by our common enemy of the state.
Police Are More Dangerous To The Public Than Are Criminals
Paul Craig Roberts
The worse threat every American faces comes from his/her own government.
At the federal level the threat is a seventh war (Syria) in 12 years, leading on to the eighth and ninth (Iran and Lebanon) and then on to nuclear war with Russia and China.
The criminal psychopaths in Washington have squandered trillions of dollars on their wars, killing and dispossessing millions of Muslims while millions of American citizens have been dispossessed of their homes and careers. Now the entire social safety net is on the chopping bloc so that Washington can finance more wars.
At the state and local level every American faces brutal, armed psychopaths known as the police. The “law and order” conservatives and the “compassionate” liberals stand silent while police psychopaths brutalize children and grandmothers, murder double amputees in wheel chairs, break into the wrong homes, murder the family dogs, and terrify the occupants, pointing their automatic assault weapons in the faces of small children.
The American police perform no positive function. They pose a much larger threat to citizens than do the criminals who operate without a police badge. Americans would be safer if the police forces were abolished.
The police have been militarized and largely federalized by the Pentagon and the gestapo Homeland Security. The role of the federal government in equipping state and local police with military weapons, including tanks, and training in their use has essentially removed the police from state and local control. No matter how brutal any police officer, it is rare that any suffer more than a few months suspension, usually with full pay, while a report is concocted that clears them of any wrong doing.
In America today, police murder with impunity. All the psychopaths have to say is, “I thought his wallet was a gun,” or “we had to taser the unconscious guy we found lying on the ground, because he wouldn’t obey our commands to get up.”
There are innumerable cases of 240 pound cop psychopaths beating a 115 pound woman black and blue. Or handcuffing and carting off to jail 6 and 7 year old boys for having a dispute on the school playground.
Many Americans take solace in their erroneous belief that this only happens to minorities who they believe deserve it, but psychopaths use their unaccountable power against everyone. The American police are a brutal criminal gang free of civilian control.
Unaccountable power, which the police have, always attracts psychopaths. You are lucky if you only get bullies, but mainly police forces attract people who enjoy hurting people and tyrannizing them. To inflict harm on the public is why psychopaths join police forces.
Calling the police is a risky thing to do. Often it is the person who calls for help or some innocent person who ends up brutalized or murdered by the police. For example, on September 15 CNN reported a case of a young man who wrecked his car and went to a nearby house for help. The woman, made paranoid by the “war on crime,” imagined that she was in danger and called police. When the police arrived, the young man ran up to them, and the police shot him dead. http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/15/justice/north-carolina-police-shooting/
People who say the solution is better police training are unaware of how the police are trained. Police are trained to perceive the public as the enemy and to use maximum force. I have watched local police forces train. Two or three dozen officers will simultaneously empty their high-capacity magazines at the same target, a minimum of 300 bullets fired at one target. The purpose is to completely destroy whatever is on the receiving end of police fire.
US prosecutors seem to be the equal to police in terms of the psychopaths in their ranks. The United States, “the light unto the world,” not only has the highest percentage of its population in prison of every other country in the world, but also has the largest absolute number of people in prison. The US prison population is much larger in absolute numbers that the prison populations of China and India, countries with four times the US population.
Just try to find a prosecutor who gives a hoot about the innocence or guilt of the accused who is in his clutches. All the prosecutor cares about is his conviction rate. The higher his conviction rate, the greater his success even if every person convicted is innocent. The higher his conviction rate, the more likely he can run for public office.
Many prosecutors, such as Rudy Giuliani, target well known people so that they can gain name recognition via the names of their victims.
The American justice (sic) system serves the political ambitions of prosecutors and the murderous lusts of police psychopaths. It serves the profit motives of the privatized prisons who need high occupancy rates for their balance sheets.
But you can bet your life that the American justice (sic) system does not serve justice.
While writing this article, I googled “police brutality,” and google delivered 4,100,000 results. If a person googles “police brutality videos,” he will discover that there are more videos than could be watched in a lifetime. And these are only those acts of police brutality that are witnessed and caught on camera.
It would take thousands of pages just to compile the information available.
The facts seem to support the case that police in the US commit more crimes and acts of violence against the public than do the criminals who do not wear badges. According to the FBI crime Statisticshttp://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/summary in 2010 there were 1,246,248 violent crimes committed by people without police badges. Keep in mind that the definition of violent crime can be an expansive definition. For example, simply to push someone is considered assault. If two people come to blows in an argument, both have committed assault. However, even with this expansive definition of violent crimes, police assaults are both more numerous and more dangerous, as it is usually a half dozen overweight goon thugs beating and tasering one person.
The threat posed to the public by police psychopaths is growing rapidly. Last July 19 the Wall Street Journal reported: “Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment–from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers–American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the US scene: the warrior cop–armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.”
The Wall Street Journal, being an establishment newspaper, has to put it as nicely as possible. The bald fact is that today’s cop in body armor with assault weapons, grenades, and tanks is not there to make arrests of suspected criminals. He is there in anticipation of protests to beat down the public for exercising constitutional rights.
To suppress public protests is also the purpose of the Department of Homeland Security Police, a federal para-military police force that is a new development for the United States. No one in their right mind could possibly think that the vast militarized police have been created because of “the terrorist threat.” Terrorists are so rare that the FBI has to round up demented people and talk them into a plot so that the “terrorist threat” can be kept alive in the public’s mind.
The American public is too brainwashed to be able to defend itself. Consider the factthat cops seldom face any consequence when they murder citizens. We never hear cops called “citizen killer.” But if a citizen kills some overbearing cop bully, the media go ballistic: “Cop killer, cop killer.” The screaming doesn’t stop until the cop killer is executed.
As long as a brainwashed public continues to accept that cop lives are more precious than their own, citizens will continue to be brutalized and murdered by police psychopaths.
I can remember when the police were different. If there was a fight, the police broke it up. If it was a case of people coming to blows over a dispute, charges were not filed. If it was a clear case of assault, unless it was brutal or done with use of a weapon, the police usually left it up to the victim to file charges.
When I lived in England, the police walked their beats armed only with their billysticks.
When and why did it all go wrong? Among the collection of probable causes are the growth or urban populations, the onslaught of heavy immigration on formerly stable and predictable neighborhoods, the war on drugs, and management consultants called in to improve efficiency who focused police on quantitative results, such as the number of arrests, and away from such traditional goals as keeping the peace and investigating reported crimes.
Each step of the way accountability was removed in order to more easily apprehend criminals and drug dealers. The “war on terror” was another step, resulting in the militarization of the police.
The replacement of jury trials with plea bargains meant that police investigations ceased to be tested in court or even to support the plea, usually a fictitious crime reached by negotiation in order to obtain a guilty plea. Police learned that all prosecutors needed was a charge and that little depended on police investigations. Police work became sloppy. It was easier simply to pick up a suspect who had a record of having committed a similar crime.
As justice receded as the goal, the quality of people drawn into police work changed. Idealistic people found that their motivations were not compatible with the process, while bullies and psychopaths were attracted by largely unaccountable power.
Much of the blame can be attributed to “law and order” conservatives. Years ago when New York liberals began to observe the growing high-handed behavior of police, they called for civilian police review boards. Conservatives, such as National Review’s William F. Buckley, went berserk, claiming that any oversight over the police would hamstring the police and cause crime to explode.
The conservatives could see no threat in the police, only in an effort to hold police accountable. As far as I can tell, this is still the mindset.
What we observed in the police response to the Boston Marathon bombing suggests that the situation is irretrievable. One of the country’s largest cities and its suburbs–100 square miles–was tightly locked down with no one permitted to leave their homes, while 10,000 heavily armed police, essentially combat soldiers armed with tanks, forced their way into people’s homes, ordering them out at gunpoint. The excuse given for this unprecedented gestapo police action was a search for one wounded 19-year old kid.
That such a completely unnecessary and unconstitutional event could occur in Boston without the responsible officials being removed from office indicates that “the land of the free” no longer exists. The American population of the past, suspicious of government and jealous of its liberty, has been replaced by a brainwashed and fearful people, who are increasingly referred to as “the sheeple.”
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.
(CNET) – CNET learns the FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory.
The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance.
In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned.
The FBI general counsel’s office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.
“If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding,” an industry representative who has reviewed the FBI’s draft legislation told CNET. The requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded, according to a second industry representative briefed on it.
Along with Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, state Rep. Steven Horsford has been a constant voice of opposition against those who came to his state to support Cliven Bundy against federal agents they believed were using excessive force. Despite a dearth of evidence to back up his claim, Horsford has publicly stated that militia members in the Bunkerville area have established armed checkpoints and are routinely harassing local citizens.
His latest call to rid the area of these protesters came this past weekend during comments he made at an event in a neighboring town.
According to his account, an unidentified fifth grader told him Bundy suffers from a “sense of entitlement,” which apparently prompted Horsford to once again protest the presence of armed militiamen in his district.
“And that is why I am calling on [Gov.] Brian Sandoval, Sen. Dean Heller, the sheriff and any other elected official in Nevada to do their part to get rid of these armed separatists.”
Despite the fact that Nevada law allows individuals to carry firearms, Horsford wants local law enforcement to force these concerned citizens out of the community. Furthermore, he has called for a federal investigation into the activities of the remaining protesters.
Both Sandoval and Heller are Republicans who have, to varying degrees, spoken out against the invasion of federal Bureau of Land Management agents last month in Clark County.
Heller has been more supportive of Bundy and his supporters, however, describing protesters as “patriots.”
Sheriff Doug Gillespie did not immediately comment on the latest demand made by Horsford. For his part, Sandoval offered a measured response to a question regarding whether Gillespie is planning to use force in removing the protesters.
“No,” he said, “and even if he had said that, I wouldn’t share that with you; because certainly that’s a conversation between the two of us.”
Late last week, a post on the Bundy Ranch Facebook page indicated the family was calling on protesters to join them in filing a criminal complaint against the BLM. A lengthy post published Friday offered a transcription of a statement delivered by Ammon Bundy at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office earlier that day.
An Oklahoma family is devastated after a police officer shot their family pet for simply jumping the fence and getting loose.
Cali, a 2-year-old pit bull had escaped from the yard and had been reported by neighbors to be running loose in the neighborhood. When police and animal officers arrived, Cali evaded the officers, who then decided that the only way to handle the situation was the kill the dog.
Officer Brice Woolly shot one round into the neck of Cali, who was still breathing after the first shot. The police officer then instructed the animal control officer to finish the job.
A neighbor present when the shooting occurred claims Woolly seemed to take delight in downing the dog and overheard him saying to the animal control officer, ”Did you see the way its collar flew up into the air when I blew it’s head off? It was awesome!”
The neighbor also heard Woolly coach the animal control officer on how to fill out the report to avoid trouble. ”We are just going to write this up in the report as the dog tried to attack me and you and others in the neighborhood,” Woolly told the other shooter, according to the neighbor’s account.
Cali’s death is also not the first time, or even the first time this month, that Officer Woolly used deadly force on an animal because it was ‘aggressive’ and the owner could not be located. On March 14, Woolly shot a dog twice. The owner of that dog was never found.
Despite the questions in the case, the Ardmore Police Department claims the matter has been closed and that Officer Woolly acted within the line of duty in shooting the dog.
Local residents and animal lovers, however, disagree. A petition that has already garnered over 17,000 signatures on Change.org is calling for Woolly’s firing for his cruel action. A peaceful rally is also planned for March 29 to protest Cali’s killing by Officer Woolly.
Peasants in Leon, Nicaragua, march in 2007 to denounce the use of harmful pesticides at banana plantations
On March 7 a California appellate court upheld a trial judge’s finding that what had been billed as a watershed liability verdict against Dole Food over pesticide use in Nicaragua was actually the product of a conspiracy by corrupt plaintiffs’ lawyers. That decision came only three days after a federal judge in New York ruled that a multibillion-dollar pollution judgment against Chevron (CVX) in 2011 was so tainted by bribery and coercion that it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.
Meanwhile, in Texas, a prominent class-action injury lawyer faces mounting woes because of allegations that he faked thousands of damage claims against BP (BP)related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. When you combine these cases with the criminal convictions several years ago of plaintiffs-bar titans Mel Weiss, Bill Lerach, and Dickie Scruggs—all of whom served time for corrupting the civil justice system—it’s hard to deny that there’s deep dysfunction within a powerful portion of the legal profession that claims to fight corporate abuse on behalf of the little guy.
A look at the Dole ruling illustrates the point. The California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles affirmed dismissal of one of a series of suits filed against Dole, alleging the company’s use of pesticides in Nicaragua left banana workers sterile in the late 1970s. In all, these suits resulted in billions of dollars in judgments against Dole.
The case at issue in the March 7 ruling, known as Tellez, went to trial in 2008 and produced a multimillion-dollar verdict for workers. That verdict was thrown out when Dole’s attorneys proved that many of the plaintiffs never worked for the company and weren’t, in fact, sterile. Witnesses and investigators were intimidated in Nicaragua, and plaintiffs were coached to concoct false stories. One supposed victim testified that he was instructed to memorize and repeat phony evidence “like a parrot.”
Plaintiffs’ lawyers and law firms are major political contributors, particularly to Democrats
The California appellate court said the trial judge correctly sent the Tellez plaintiffs packing. The ruling was a win for the Los Angeles firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which has engineered the negation of multiple pesticide verdicts against Dole. That accomplishment prompted Chevron to hire Gibson Dunn to fight back against a $19 billion oil-contamination judgment imposed by an Ecuadorean court in 2011. In the Chevron case, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of New York ruled on March 4 that plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger turned his Ecuadorean lawsuit against the oil company into a racketeering scheme, complete with extortion, bribery of judges, and fabrication of evidence. Donziger has denied wrongdoing and vowed to appeal.
Mass-tort and class-action securities-fraud suits reached their apogee in the 1990s, fueled in part by the energy and ingenuity of an elite fraternity of plaintiffs’ firms and individual lawyers, some of whom became phenomenally wealthy as a result of their success. There’s nothing necessarily wrong, of course, with plaintiffs’ attorneys doing well along the path to doing good, just as there’s nothing necessarily improper with corporate-defense lawyers getting richly paid.
But as the plaintiffs’ bar achieved lucrative triumphs in asbestos litigation and the tobacco cases, some of its leaders lost their bearings. Scruggs, who earned a fortune in both of those arenas, pleaded guilty in 2008 to crimes related to a judicial bribery scheme. Weiss and Lerach, impresarios of securities-fraud class actions, went to prison for paying kickbacks to shareholder plaintiffs-for-hire. Last year the Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the disbarment of Stanley Chesley, a scourge of the pharmaceuticals and chemicals industries, among others. Chesley allegedly sought “unreasonable” fees in the settlement of a diet drug class action against Wyeth, now part of Pfizer (PFE).
Mikal Watts of San Antonio ranks among the nation’s most feared mass-injury lawyers. In the wake of the BP oil spill four years ago, his firm filed some 40,000 claims on behalf of deckhands and others alleging economic harm from the disaster that killed 11 rig workers and sullied the Gulf Coast. Last December, BP hit back, accusing Watts of seeking to shake down the company by filing claims for thousands of “phantom” clients who didn’t fit his description of them or didn’t exist at all. Then, in January, another well-known mass-tort attorney, Danny Becnel of Louisiana, filed a separate suit against Watts on behalf of Vietnamese American fishermen and business owners who say Watts used their names without authorization. Watts last year resigned from the plaintiffs’ steering committee helping to direct the litigation against BP after media reports that federal agents had searched his offices in connection with the phantom-claims scandal. The federal criminal probe is continuing. Watts, a major fundraiser for the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, has denied any wrongdoing—civil or criminal. His lawyers have said all his filings against BP were made in good faith.
Despite the egregiousness of the plaintiffs’ bar abuses, there’s little chance that Congress will enact tort reform anytime soon, says Victor Schwartz, a lobbyist for business on the issue and a partner in Washington with law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Plaintiffs’ lawyers and law firms are major political contributors, particularly to Democrats, who have fought attempts to cap settlements in big corporate liability cases and class actions. Lawyers spent about $135 million in 2012 helping to elect Democrats, compared with $56 million for Republican candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political money. “There have been no major business civil justice victories [in Congress] for almost a decade,” Schwartz says. Likewise, President Obama has shown little interest in taking on attorneys who invested $28 million in his reelection effort in 2012, more than twice what they gave Mitt Romney, according to the center. And bar associations and state attorneys general rarely seek to prosecute litigation fraud, which is expensive to pursue and politically fraught. As a result, says Sherman Joyce, president of the corporate-funded American Tort Reform Association, “too many plaintiffs’ lawyers believe there’s not much risk in filing fraudulent suits.”
The bottom line: Dole and Chevron have won major court victories after federal judges ruled that plaintiffs’ lawyers engaged in fraud.
Barrett is an assistant managing editor and senior writer at Bloomberg Businessweek. His new book, Law of the Jungle, which tells the story of the Chevron oil pollution case in Ecuador, will be published by Crown in September 2014. His most recent book is GLOCK: The Rise of America’s Gun.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 124,419 U.S. properties in January 2014, an 8 percent increase from December but still down 18 percent from January 2013. Foreclosure filings were reported on 1,361,795 U.S. properties in 2013, down 26 percent from 2012 and down 53 percent from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010. But still, 9.3 million U.S. residential properties were deeply underwater representing 19 percent of all properties with a mortgage in December 2013, down from 10.7 million homes underwater in September 2013.
In 2006 there were 1,215,304 foreclosures, 545,000 foreclosure filings and 268,532 Home Repossessions. By 2007 foreclosures had almost doubled – up to 2,203,295 with 1,260,000 foreclosure filings and 489,000 Home Repossessions. 2008 saw an even further increase to 3,019,482 foreclosures, 2,350,000 Foreclosure filings and 679,000 Home Repossessions. In 2009 – 3,457,643 foreclosures, 2,920,000 foreclosure filings, and 945,000 Home Repossessions. 2010: 3,843,548 foreclosures, 3,500,000 foreclosure filings, and 1,125,000 Home Repossessions. 2011: 3,920,418 foreclosures, 3,580,000 foreclosure filings, and 1,147,000 Home Repossessions. Then January to September 2012: 1,616,427 foreclosures 1,382,000 foreclosure filings and 572,844 Repossessions. The remainder of 2012 – September through December saw an additional 2,300,000 foreclosures, 2,100,000 foreclosure filings and 700,000 Repossessions. In other words, from 2006 through 2012, there were a total of 21,576,117 foreclosures; 17,637,000 foreclosure filings; 5,926,376 Home Repossessions. The foreclosures added to the repossessions is equal to: 27,502,493. The numbers are staggering.
Many of the homes have been wrongfully foreclosed upon, where either the party had not been in default, or the foreclosing party lacked standing to foreclose. It has become almost as lawless as the wildwest, or comparable to a shark feeding frenzy.
With the release of the US Bank admissions per our post of November 6, 2013; the issuance of the opinions from the Supreme Courts of Oregon and Montana holding that MERS is not the “beneficiary”; and recent opinions from various jurisdictions which are now, finally, holding that securitization-related issues are relevant in a foreclosure, a host of new legal issues are about to be litigated in the trial and appellate courts throughout the country. It has taken six (6) years and coast-to-coast work to get courts to realize that securitization of a mortgage loan raises issues as to standing, real party in interest, and the alleged authority to foreclose, and that the simplistic mantra of the “banks” and servicers of “we have the note, thus we win” is no longer to be blindly accepted.
One issue which we and others are litigating relates to mortgage loans originated by Option One, which changed its name to Sand Canyon Corporation and thereafter ceased all mortgage loan operations. Pursuant to the sworn testimony of the former President of Sand Canyon, it stopped owning mortgage loans as of 2008. However, even after this cessation of any involvement with servicing or ownership of mortgage loans, we see “Assignments” from Option One or Sand Canyon to a securitization trustee bank or other third party long after 2008.
The United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire concluded, with the admission of the President of Sand Canyon, that the homeowner’s challenge to the foreclosure based on a 2011 alleged transfer from Sand Canyon to Wells Fargo was not an “attack on the assignment” which certain jurisdictions have precluded on the alleged basis that the borrower is not a party to the assignment, but is a situation where no assignment occurred because it could not have as a matter of admitted fact, as Sand Canyon could not assign something it did not have. The case is Drouin v. American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. and Wells Fargo, etc., No. 11-cv-596-JL.
The Option One/Sand Canyon situation is not unique: there are many originating “lenders” which allegedly “assigned” mortgages or Deeds of Trust long after they went out of business or filed for Bankruptcy, with no evidence of post-closing assignment authority or that the Bankruptcy court having jurisdiction over a bankrupt lender ever granted permission for the alleged transfer of the loan (which is an asset of the Bankruptcy estate) out of the estate. Such a transfer without proof of authority to do so implicates bankruptcy fraud (which is a serious crime punishable under United States criminal statutes), and fraud on the court in a foreclosure case where such an alleged assignment is relied upon by the foreclosing party.
As we stated in our post of November 6, the admission of US Bank that a borrower is a party to any MBS transaction and that the loan is governed by the trust documents means that the borrower is, in fact, a party to any assignment of that borrower’s loan, and should thus be permitted to seek discovery as to any alleged assignment and all issues related to the securitization of the loan. We have put this issue out in many of our cases, and will be arguing this position at both the trial and appellate levels beginning early 2014.
James and I were working outside, and he called me over and we began talking about that which occupies most of out time…
Many people don’t realize it, but there are many unseen reasons that people are foreclosed on. After putting people into toxic loans, and putting those toxic loans into pools with numerous other toxic loans, there was just a matter of time before the loans would go default, we all know that, the payments would become unmanageable.
But many people, those who came to a better standing than they had been before, and being more prosperous, and even those who were not, would have gone on to refinance those loans. That could not be allowed to happen, because the loans would be paid off and the loans dissolved. How do you stop someone from refinancing their loan? Foreclose before they can.
They could not have anyone pulling the loans out of the Trusts that the loans had allegedly gone into, there was no money in the Trusts anyway. The Banksters have a way of turning everything into a matter of profit.
US BANK ADMITS, IN WRITING FROM THEIR CORPORATE OFFICE, THAT THE BORROWER IS A PARTY TO AN MBS TRANSACTION; THAT SECURITIZATION TRUSTEES ARE NOT INVOLVED IN THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS; HAVE NO ADVANCE KNOWLEDGE OF WHEN A LOAN HAS DEFAULTED; THAT THE “TRUE BENEFICIAL OWNERS” OF A SECURITIZED MORTGAGE ARE THE INVESTORS IN THE MBS; AND THAT THE GOAL OF A SERVICER IS TO “MAXIMIZE THE RETURN TO INVESTORS” November 6, 2013
We have been provided with a copy of U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust Services’ “Role of the Corporate Trustee” brochure which makes certain incredible admissions, several of which squarely disprove and nullify the holdings of various courts around the country which have taken the position that the borrower “is not a party to” the securitization and is thus not entitled to discovery or challenges to the mortgage loan transfer process. The brochure accompanied a letter from US Bank to one of our clients which states: “Your account is governed by your loan documents and the Trust’s governing documents”, which admission clearly demonstrates that the borrower’s loan is directly related to documents governing whatever securitized mortgage loan trust the loan has allegedly been transferred to. This brochure proves that Courts which have held to the contrary are wrong on the facts.
The first heading of the brochure is styled “Distinct Party Roles”. The first sentence of this heading states: “Parties involved in a MBS transaction include the borrower, the originator, the servicer and the trustee, each with their own distinct roles, responsibilities and limitations.” MBS is defined at the beginning of the brochure as the sale of “Mortgage Backed Securities in the capital markets”. The fourth page of the brochure also identifies the “Parties to a Mortgage Backed Securities Transaction”, with the first being the “Borrower”, followed by the Investment Bank/Sponsor, the Investor, the Originator, the Servicer, the Trust (referred to “generally as a special purpose entity, such as a Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC)”), and the Trustee (stating that “the trustee does not have an economic or beneficial interest in the loans”).
The second page sets forth that U.S. Bank, as Trustee, “does not have any discretion or authority in the foreclosure process.” If this is true, how can U.S. Bank as Trustee be the Plaintiff in judicial foreclosures or the foreclosing party in non-judicial foreclosures if it has “no authority in the foreclosure process”?
The second page also states: “All trustees for MBS transactions, including U.S. Bank, have no advance knowledge of when a mortgage loan has defaulted.” Really? So when, for example, MERS assigns, in 2011, a loan to a 2004 Trust where the loan has been in default since 2008, no MBS “trustee” bank (and note that it says “All” trustees) do not know that a loan coming into the trust is in default? The trust just blindly accepts loans which may or may not be in default without any advanced due diligence? Right. Sure. Of course. LOL.
However, that may be true, because the trustee banks do not want to know, for then they can take advantage of the numerous insurances, credit default swaps, reserve pools, etc. set up to pay the trust when loans are in default, as discussed below.
The same page states that “Any action taken by the servicer must maximize the return on the investment made by the ‘beneficial owners of the trust’ — the investors.” The fourth page of the brochure states that the investors are “the true beneficial owners of the mortgages”, and the third page of the brochure states “Whether the servicer pursues a foreclosure or considers a modification of the loan, the goal is still to maximize the return to investors” (who, again, are the true beneficial owners of the mortgage loans).
This is a critical admission in terms of what happens when a loan is securitized. The borrower initiated a mortgage loan with a regulated mortgage banking institution, which is subject to mortgage banking rules, regulations, and conditions, with the obligation evidenced by the loan documents being one of simple loaning of money and repayment, period. Once a loan is sold off into a securitization, the homeowner is no longer dealing with a regulated mortgage banking institution, but with an unregulated private equity investor which is under no obligation to act in the best interest to maintain the loan relationship, but to “maximize the return”. This, as we know, almost always involves foreclosure and denial of a loan mod, as a foreclosure (a) results in the acquisition of a tangible asset (the property); and (b) permits the trust to take advantage of reserve pools, credit default swaps, first loss reserves, and other insurances to reap even more monies in connection with the claimed “default” (with no right of setoff as to the value of the property against any such insurance claims), and in a situation where the same risk was permitted to be underwritten many times over, as there was no corresponding legislation or regulation which precluded a MBS insurer (such as AIG, MGIC, etc.) from writing a policy on the same risk more than once.
As those of you know who have had Bloomberg reports done on securitized loans, the screens show loans which have been placed into many tranches (we saw one where the same loan was collateralized in 41 separate tranches, each of which corresponded to a different class of MBS), and with each class of MBS having its own insurance, the “trust” could make 41 separate insurance claims AND foreclose on the house as well! Talk about “maximizing return for the investor”! What has happened is that the securitization parties have unilaterally changed the entire nature of the mortgage loan contract without any prior notice to or approval from the borrower.
There is no language in any Note or Mortgage document (DOT, Security Deed, or Mortgage) by which the borrower is put on notice that the entire nature of the mortgage loan contract and the other contracting party may be unilaterally changed from a loan with a regulated mortgage lender to an “investment” contract with a private equity investor. This, in our business, is called “fraud by omission” for purposes of inducing someone to sign a contract, with material nondisclosure of matters which the borrower had to have to make the proper decision as to whether to sign the contract or not.
U.S. Bank has now confirmed, in writing from its own corporate offices in St. Paul, Minnesota, so much of what we have been arguing for years. This brochure should be filed in every securitization case for discovery purposes and opposing summary judgments or motions to dismiss where the securitized trustee “bank” takes the position that “the borrower is not part of the securitization and thus has no standing to question it.” U. S. Bank has confirmed that the borrower is in fact a party to an MBS transaction, period, and that the mortgage loan is in fact governed, in part, by “the Trust’s governing documents”, which are thus absolutely relevant for discovery purposes.
I have just received a copy of a daring and tempestuous motion for rehearing en banc filed by the winner of the appeal. The homeowner won because of precedent, law and common sense; but the court didn’t like their own decision and certified an absurd question to the Florida Supreme Court. The question was whether the Plaintiff in a foreclosure case needs to have standing at the commencement of the action. Whether it is jurisdictional or not (I think it is clearly jurisdictional) Stopa is both right on the law and right on his challenge to the Court on the grounds of BIAS.
The concurring opinion of the court actually says that the court is ruling for the homeowner because it must — but asserts that it is leading to a result that fails to expedite cases where the outcome of the inevitable foreclosure is never in doubt. In other words, the appellate court has officially taken the position that we know before we look at a foreclosure case that the bank should win and the homeowner should lose. The entire court should be recused for bias that they have put in writing. What homeowner can bring an action or defend an action where the outcome desired by the courts in that district have already decided that homeowners are deadbeats and their defenses are quite literally a waste of time? Under the rules, the Court should not hear the the motion for rehearing en banc, should vacate that part of the decision that sets up the rube certified question, and the justices who participated must be recused from hearing further appeals on foreclosure cases.
Lest their be any mistake, and without any attempt to step on the toes of Stopa’s courageous brief on an appeal he already won, I wish to piggy back on his brief and expand certain points. The problem here might be the subject of a federal due process action against the state. Judges who have already decided foreclosure or mortgage litigation cases before they even see them are not fit to hear them. It IS that simple.
The question here was stated as the issue of standing at the commencement of the lawsuit. Does the bank need to have a claim before it files it? The question is so absurd that it is difficult to address without a joke. But this is not funny. The courts have rapidly evolved into a position that expedited decisions are better than fair decisions. There is NOTHING in the law that supports that position and thousands of cases that say the opposite is true under our system of law. Any judge who leans the other way should be recused or taken off the bench entirely.
In lay terms, the Appellate Court’s certified question would allow anyone who thinks they might have a claim in the future to file the lawsuit now. And the Court believes this will relieve the clogged court calendars. If this matter is taken seriously and the Supreme Court accepts the certified question for serious review it will merely by acceptance be making a statement that makes it possible for all kinds of claims that anticipate an injury.
It is bad enough that judges appear to be ignoring the requirement that there must be an allegation that a loan was made by the originating party and that the Plaintiff actually bought the loan. This was an obvious requirement that was consistently required in pleading until the courts were clogged with mortgage litigation, at which point the court system tilted far past due process and said that if the borrower stopped paying there were no conditions under which the borrower could win the case.
It is bad enough that Judges appear to be ignoring the requirement that the allegation that the Plaintiff will suffer financial damage unless relief is granted. This was an obvious requirement that was consistently required in pleading until the mortgage meltdown.
Why is this important? Because the facts will show that lenders consistently violated basic and advanced protections that have been federal and State law for decades. These violations more often than not produced an unenforceable loan — as pointed out in law suits by federal and state regulators, and as pointed out by the lawsuits of investors who were real lenders who are screwed each time the court enters foreclosure judgment in favor of the bank instead of the investor lenders.
It is not the fault of borrowers that this mess was created. It is the fault of Wall Street Bankers who were working a scheme to defraud investors by diverting the real transaction and making it appear that the banks were principals in the loan transaction when in fact they were never real parties in interest. Nobody would seriously argue that this eliminates the debt. But why are we enforcing that debt with completely defective mortgage instruments in a process that confirms the fraud and ratifies it to the damage of investors who put up the money in the first place? The courts have made a choice that is unavailable in our system of law.
This is also judicial laziness. If these justices want to weigh in on the mortgage mess, then they should have the facts and not the stories put forward by Wall Street that have been proven to be pure fiction, fabrication, lies and perjury. That the Court ignores what is plainly documented in hundreds of thousands of defective mortgage transactions and the behavior of banks that resulted in “strangers to the transaction” being awarded title to property — that presents sufficient grounds to challenge any court in the system on grounds of bias and due process. If ever we had a mass hysteria for prejudging cases, this is it.
Neil Garfield | October 4, 2013 at 9:26 am | Tags: bias, Mark Stopa, motion for rehearing en banc, recusal, removal of judge, standing | Categories: CORRUPTION, Eviction, foreclosure, foreclosure mill, investment banking, Investor, MODIFICATION, Mortgage, Motions, Pleading, politics, securities fraud, Servicer | URL: http://wp.me/p7SnH-5GX
Protesters Turned Into Those Whom They Were Protesting SUX!
BY NOOTKABEAR ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
You know, I have been thinking a lot lately about why it is that the Protesters from the 60′s and early 70′s are really pissing me off nowadays. They act like a bunch of sheep or cattle. The whole country is running amock and nobody says a damned thing about it. IT SUX!
I have come to the realization that the Protesters from the 60′-70′s turned into the very thing they were protesting, except even more so. It SUX!
You would have thought that those protesters would have gone on to make a difference, and that there would not be all of this corruption that we deal with on a daily basis. The flower children, peace – love and rock & roll. What the hell happened? Those people forgot everything about why they were protesting in the first place. They forgot “let’s love one another”, forgot about “live and let live”. Hell they are worse than the people they were protesting, because they are hypocrites.
Now, they go sludging along, fuck it if everyone is being foreclosed upon, even if they paid for the property in full. Fuck it if we have WWIII because our president is a fuck up. Fuck it if Russia nukes us. Fuck it if the Japanese have ended life on earth with their meltdown problem. Fuck it if Russia’s Putin now speaks when the United States should have been speaking. Fuck it if the Christians are being slaughtered. Fuck it if there are no jobs. Fuck it if Obamacare causes all of us to be denied healthcare we are entitled to.
Fuck it, Fuck it, fuck it. THIS SUX! This is not who we are. This is not what are forefathers would have accepted. This is not how we got to where we were.
So this week, the Protesters, turned cattle, sheep and couch potatoes are what SUX!!!
WASHINGTON – A sharply-divided Supreme Court on Monday made it more difficult for Americans to sue businesses for discrimination and retaliation, leading a justice to call for Congress to overturn the court’s actions.
The court’s conservatives, in two 5-4 decisions, ruled that a person must be able to hire and fire someone to be considered a supervisor in discrimination lawsuits, making it harder to blame a business for a coworker’s racism or sexism. The court then decided to limit how juries can decide retaliation lawsuits, saying victims must prove employers would not have taken action against them but for their intention to retaliate.
courtroom, said the high court had “corralled Title VII,” a law designed to stop discrimination in the nation’s workplaces.
“Both decisions dilute the strength of Title VII in ways Congress could not have intended,” said Ginsburg, who called on Congress to change the law to overturn the court.
In the first case, Maetta Vance, who was a catering specialist at Ball State University, accused a co-worker, Shaundra Davis, of racial harassment and retaliation in 2005. Vance sued the school under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, saying the university was liable since Davis was her supervisor. But a federal judge threw out her lawsuit, saying that since Davis could not fire Vance, she was only a co-worker, and since the university had taken corrective action, it was not liable for Davis’ actions. The 7th Circuit upheld that decision, and Vance appealed to the Supreme Court.
But Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, said for the university to be liable, Davis must have had the authority to “hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, or discipline” Vance.
“We hold that an employee is a ‘supervisor’ for purposed of vicarious liability under Title VII if he or she is empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim,” Alito said. “Because there is no evidence that BSU empowered Davis to take any tangible employment actions against Vance, the judgment of the Seventh Circuit is affirmed.”
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron said the court made the wrong decision. “Deferring to the powerful at the expense of the powerless, the Supreme Court majority has imposed heavier burden for victims of workplace harassment and discrimination seeking justice in our courts,” she said. “This decision makes it far easier for employers to evade responsibility for discrimination and harassment in the workplace.”
In the second case, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center wanted a discrimination lawsuit won by Dr. Naiel Nassar thrown out. Nassar left in 2006 after complaining of harassment, but Parkland Hospital withdrew its job offer after one of his former supervisors opposed it. Nassar sued, saying the medical center retaliated against him for his discrimination complaints by encouraging Parkland to take away his job offer. A jury awarded him more than $3 million in damages.
The medical center appealed, saying the judge told the jury it only had to find that retaliation was a motivating factor in the supervisor’s actions, called mixed-motive. Instead, it said, the judge should have told the jury it had to find that discriminatory action wouldn’t have happened “but-for” the supervisor’s desire to retaliate for liability to attach.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the opinion, agreed with the lower court and the university, saying people “must establish that his or her protected activity was a but-for cause of the alleged adverse action by the employer.” But he didn’t rule completely for the medical center, sending the case back to the lower courts after saying a decision on the resolution of the case “is better suited by courts closer to the facts of this case.”
Karen Harned, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Legal Center, cheered the decision.
“If courts were allowed to label employees with little managerial authority as ‘supervisors,’ that would have substantially increased the number of frivolous lawsuits brought against small businesses and would have done little, if anything, to reduce harassment,” she said. “For small businesses, the increased possibility of liability and ensuing costs would have been devastating. We are very pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision.”
Ginsburg said she hopes Congress intervenes in both cases, just as it did in past Title VII cases. “Today, the ball again lies in Congress’ court to correct this court’s wayward interpretations of Title VII,” she said.
In other actions, the court:
– Sent a Texas case on race-based college admissions back to a lower court for another look. The court’s 7-1 decision leaves unsettled many of the basic questions about the continued use of race as a factor in college admissions.
– Announced that it would issue additional opinions on Tuesday as it begins to wrap up its work for the summer. Justices still have not decided major cases involving gay marriage and the Voting Rights Act.
– Decided to reconsider the constitutionality of a 2007 Massachusetts law that bars protests in 35-foot “buffer zones” around abortion clinic entrances, exits and driveways.
– Agreed to review a federal appeals court decision that found President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate last year to appoint three members of the National Labor Relations Board.
– Rejected challenges to Environmental Protection Agency decisions allowing an increase in ethanol content in gasoline.
– Ruled generic drug manufacturers can’t be sued in state court for a drug’s design defects if federal officials approved the brand-name version the generic drug copied.
– Ruled that a convicted military sex offender who completed his sentence can be prosecuted for not updating his whereabouts in a federal sex offender database, even though that law was passed after he finished serving his sentence and was discharged from the military.
After waiting for almost four years for an Order on Appeal/Void Judgment from DeKalb County Probate Court Judge Rosh’s Order. The Court had set three peremptory hearings, and a jury trial hearing. This morning another peremptory hearing was scheduled. Judge Elliott A Shoenthall replaced Judge Scott. When he performed roll call, he informed James that the case had been dismissed March 2006 by Order. He stated that something must have been filed wrong. Judge Shoenthall announced a two minute recess. The Judge and clerks were gone about twenty minutes.
Judge Shoenthall obviously read the file and read the Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law James filed in January before the jury trial hearing date.
Judge Shoenthall promised James if he would wait, he would get the Order. Not only did James receive the Order from Judge Scott’s 2006 Ruling, he presented us with an appealable Order dated today. The clerk made sure to inform James that the Order would be appealable.
Judge Shoenthall must have realized all that James had ever wanted was the Right to Appeal the Order, but without an Order, you cannot Appeal. Notice of Intent to Appeal had been filed with Judge Scott before he Ruled, and two Motions for Orders had been filed, but no Order was forthcoming.
I don’t know about the rest of yall, but I have had about enough of the corruption within the Judicial System. I see that it’s not just in Georgia, but all over the whole country.
It’s just a damn shame that the greatest country in the world is riddled with such corruption and apparently everyone knows it and nothing is done about it.
If anyone else (I’m not speaking of attorneys, or law students, I am speaking of those of us forced to fight for our Rights in the Courts as Pro Se litigants) if anyone else has ever sat back and read case after case after case for caselaw, it is obvious that what is going on goes against everything our country was created for. The Supreme Court in many cases goes through and analyzes what it was that the “framers intended” when they made laws.
I can tell you…. the framers did not intend justice to be only for the rich, only for those who can afford attorneys, only for friends and family of Judges. They never intended the Judges to be bias/prejudice and treat litigants without dignity, to treat them as idiots, to humiliate them.
We have studied the law diligently for four years now. No, not at college, but studied in the same way one would study in college. We are not idiots, and we will not quit, we will not go away!